Transcending through cultures and careers

Nyssa P. Chopra — Founder, The Cultureur

Born and raised in California, Nyssa P.Chopra – as described in her own words – is “An American mademoiselle caught between continents and cultures”. A highly talented and multi-faceted personality, Nyssa has lived, studied, worked and volunteered in 6 countries (the U.S., the UK, France, Iceland, India, and Germany) and has travelled to 50+ others. It is difficult to categorize her in one domain as she waltzed through different careers and interests with equal astuteness and panache. Nyssa is a Fulbright Fulbright Journalism Scholar, London School of Economics graduate, hospitality lawyer, travel journalist, millenial marketing consultant, social media strategist and the list goes on.

Nyssa started The Cultureur in 2012 — a luxury travel and lifestyle blog that’s turned into a digital marketing consultancy that helps travel/hospitality brands with digital marketing solutions, from content marketing, editorial, millennial marketing strategies, and social media management/consulting. (www.thecultureur.com) Nyssa has done her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego and Master of Science (MSc) from the London School of Economics, Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Washington. Before venturing into the hospitality and travel fields she worked at U.S. Embassies in Paris, New Delhi, and London on issues such as human trafficking, women’s rights, international education, etc. While switching from a career in diplomacy, international development, and journalism to a career at the intersection of media, travel/hospitality, and the law, Nyssa found the freedom of entrepreneurship along the way and parlayed her passions into professional pursuits.

She lives by her favorite quote by Mark Twain – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do rather than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

High point in career

“While I’m incredibly proud of the things I’ve accomplished thus far, I’ve always believed that the best is yet to come and my greatest accomplishment is still yet to be determined.”

Most challenging assignment so far

“Figuring out how to connect the dots in my life — aligning my passions with professional pursuits.”

Greatest inspiration

“I’m inspired by anyone who has the courage, conviction, and confidence to pursue their dreams, especially against all odds, and is unapologetic for being their authentic self.”

Most important milestone in life

“A milestone that I recently passed was my debut into the 30s club. While I had a blast in my 20s, I’m really looking forward to moving into a newer and better phase of my life. I often hear about friends dreading and moaning about reaching this new milestone, but I couldn’t be happier about leaping into another decade, armed with all the mistakes, discoveries, experiences, and lessons learned from my 20s, and not to mention, a better sense of self.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“I have never liked that statement because it severely tarnishes the underlying message of feminism and fuels the criticism of the feminist movement. The goal is to seek equality, not superiority. It’s not about women becoming another breed of men, or becoming better than men, or destroying the positive things that men do/have done for the world.

Instead, feminism is about respect: having the same respect for a woman that you would for a man and the importance of seeing a woman as a person. Bringing women up at the expense of men only perpetuates the problem. Sadly, our society still has a long way to go.”

Experiences on being a woman entrepreneur

“No matter what professional hat I put on, the most challenging, but most rewarding role I’ll ever have is being a woman. I’ve always maintained that it’s my favorite role in life. We are at the juncture of unprecedented change, and despite the blatant sexism and gross misogyny that plays out in the business world, women are shattering the glass ceiling like never before and reaching new heights in both their personal and professional lives. But the pushback from men is not our only problem; much worse is the hostile treatment we receive from other women. Often, stemming from a socially conditioned insecurity or anxiety, women heap an avalanche of abuse, discrimination, and incivility on one another, and it needs to stop if we truly want to experience progress.”

How do you believe in making dreams come true?

“Sometimes the best advice is the simplest — just do it. There are no shortcuts and it’s not easy, but it’s all within your power if you have the guts and grit to take the reins.”

Challenges faced

“External challenges aside, the biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome is my inner critic that feels the need to comment on everything I’m doing or not doing, saying or not saying, and being or not being. There is no greater force than self-sabotage, and over the years or maybe it’s a wonderful byproduct of getting older, but either way, I’ve learned how to reel in this mental menace and shut it down before it gains too much power. At the end of the day, the only validation you need is from yourself, and the more you love your decisions, the less you need others to like them.”